A Guide on Driving Your RV Safely & Responsibly
If you’re a new RV driver, you may not know some of the “unspoken” rules of the road. While that may not get you pulled over by the police, it probably will cause you undue risk and cost you some goodwill among other drivers. Your recreational vehicle isn’t a “toy”, though you may think of it as such. In many cases, it’s a 20,000-pound vehicle (or more). It’s comparable to some of the heavier trucks on the road. The difference? You’re not legally required to get special driver training for your RV in most cases. RV driving safety is something you have to pursue on your own.
RV driving safety is no accident. Oftentimes, courteous driving translates to safe driving. When it comes to your RV, take the time to read the manual and learn your vehicle’s systems. You’re driving a house on wheels. When you’re on the highway, it’s a house on wheels going through a hurricane and an earthquake, simultaneously. Things break. And other drivers (out of innocent ignorance) aren’t aware that you can’t stop on a dime. You have to be the cautious one. Nobody wants to get stuck in traffic behind “the big, slow RV”. So, expect to be cut off rudely and frequently. Your job is to not rear-end them.
Keep in mind, you’re longer than you think. Especially if you’re towing a vehicle, realize that you take up the entire intersection when you make a turn. You also must contend with blind spots. So, anticipate the wide-turn, and err on the side of caution before entering the intersection. Nobody likes the sound of crunching metal on a hot summer’s day!
RV Driver Safety: Be Kind to Truckers
On long road trips, you’re prone to getting tired. Likewise, over-the-road truckers drive long days as well. But there’s a difference. The trucker is on-the-job, away from their family, trying to make a living. You, on the other hand, are likely traveling with your family on vacation in your RV. It’s important that any driver remains safe and well-rested. But truckers are under legal confines of stopping within specific timelines. Otherwise, if they “time out” while driving, they face large fines and risk losing their jobs.
Do the courteous thing and leave the travel plaza truck parking spots open for truckers. They don’t have a choice. You, on the other hand can pull over at campgrounds and, oftentimes, parking lots.
Two other key RV driving safety and etiquette tips: Don’t extend your sliders in parking lots, and don’t run your generator if you can avoid it.
- Extending your sliders in parking lots is hazardous to both your vehicle and passersby. It also potentially deprives another vehicle of a parking space. Aside from being a good way to get your RV vandalized, you’re not “camping” in the parking lot. It’s a temporary stay to snooze.
- Not only is your generator noisy, it also exhausts carbon monoxide. It’s deadly. Don’t run your generator next to other vehicles and risk gassing them.
RV Driver Safety: Share the Road
Your RV moves more air than you realize. Whether you’re driving a Class “A”, “B”, or “C” motorhome, or you’re towing a trailer, steer well-clear of pedestrians and bikers. The “push” of air you generate creates a hazard to them.
Likewise, when you’re “in the groove” driving on the highway, stay in the right-hand lane except to pass. And only pass when necessary. Don’t drive your RV like it’s the family station wagon. Changing lanes often or hogging the passing lane creates ill-will among other drivers. Avoid becoming the source of their road rage.
Keep Your RV Properly Maintained
Not to be overlooked, a properly maintained RV is a safe RV. You have two motors in your RV: one is the engine to move it, the other is the generator to power it. Both require oil changes and routine maintenance for RV driver safety. Use a synthetic oil for each, since synthetic oil outperforms and outlasts conventional oil. To find the right oil for your RV, visit AMSOIL’s vehicle guides. Or give us a call at The House of Syn, and we’ll help you with the right products.